Frequently Asked Questions
- Where do I mail my fees and report form? California Beef Council P.O. Box 340368 Sacramento, CA 95834-0368
- Where can I get more information on the beef checkoff? The Web site of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, www.beefboard.org, is the best source of information on the checkoff. You may also contact the California Beef Council at 916.925.BEEF (2333) with specific questions.
- What is a collection point? Whoever makes payment to the seller is a collection point or collection person (this could be the actual buyer or the buyer’s agent). That entity or person must withhold $1 per head and remit those funds to the California Beef Council. Examples of collection points are: livestock markets, feedyards, packers, dealers, order buyers, other producers, auctioneers, sale managers, clerking services, banks, and other entities that buy or sell cattle. Beef checkoff fees are due by the 15th of the month following the sale transaction.
- But I just bought one bull from a purebred breeder. Under this definition I’m a collection point? Correct. However, because California requires a brand inspection to be completed when cattle change ownership, your local brand inspector will collect your beef checkoff fees from the seller when he collects the brand inspection fee. The brand inspector will then forward the beef checkoff fees to the California Beef Council. When in doubt, ask your brand inspector if the beef checkoff fees were collected.
- I’m a dairy producer. Do I have to pay checkoff fees on the private treaty sales of my dairy cattle? Yes. Sales by private treaty of beef and dairy cattle, regardless of age, are all subject to the $1 per head checkoff. Even if you are buying or selling wet-navel drop calves that are exempt from California brand inspection requirements, $1 should be deducted from the sales price and sent to the California Beef Council. The one thing to remember is that, under law, the buyer and seller are equally liable to see that the $1 per head is collected and paid, so make sure to determine who will remit the checkoff fee when a transaction is made.
- I buy and sell cattle with Mexican producers. Who pays this checkoff? When you sell, you, as the last American owner, must pay the checkoff dollar. If you purchase cattle from Mexico, $1 is collected at the time of purchase if the change of ownership occurs after the cattle have arrived in the United States. If the purchase transaction is conducted prior to the cattle arriving in the United States, no checkoff is due. An import $1 is collected by U.S. Customs at the crossing of the cattle. The import $1 collected by customs cannot be used to claim an exemption from paying the $1 on change of ownership.
- My ranch is in California, but I feed my cattle in Nevada. When these cattle are sold to the packer and the feedyard deducts $1 per head from my sales price, do my checkoff dollars come back to the California Beef Council? Generally, no. They would be sent to the Nevada Beef Council. This also means that checkoff dollars from Southwestern cattle that are fed in California feedlots stay in California rather than return to their state of origin. The rule is that if cattle are located in one state for 30 days or more prior to their sale, the checkoff dollars stay in that state. If they are sold in less than 30 days, then the dollars go back to the state of origin. Imported cattle always are considered original to the state in which they entered.
- How do I know that everyone is paying his fair share? Repeated action by the courts has shown the severity of willfully failing to pay checkoff dollars. An administrative law judge recently ordered a producer to pay past assessments, late payment charges and $12,000 in civil penalties for refusal to pay checkoff dollars. The California Beef Council is charged by law to monitor all cattle transactions and assure uniform payment of the checkoff assessment. The CBC also is required to turn over to the Beef Board the names of any producers or collections sites that refuse to pay the checkoff for action that can include a restraining order and a civil penalty of up to $5,500 per transaction.
- How can I get involved?
The boards of the California Beef Council and the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and
Research Board are made up of producer volunteers nominated by cattlemen's
organizations. Contact your state or local cattlemen's organization for more information about the nomination process.